Thursday, November 24, 2016

11/21 A good week!

A good week! We were able to accomplish so much! We started our children's English class this Saturday. We went finding as a District on Friday and were able to have 6 kids at our first class! Success. Hopefully we can keep it growing. There was quite a bit we did this week, including planning for the Thanksgiving activity this week. Wow, we went out to Castlepeak Bay to plan as a Zone leadership, and we consequentially rode through Yuen Long. It was quite nostalgic and took me back to those days over a year ago in my first transfer there. I haven't come back for that long! A year! That is amazing to me. I love the New Territories. So beautiful. Elder P enjoyed his first ride on the light rail as well, even though we accidentally put $50 on the lady in front of us's Octopus card. 

S asked this week to be baptized. We had asked before and he said he would when he prayed, and then this week we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he asked! He said he wanted to be baptized in December! So he set a date. He is quite solid at church. Does well. Brother W is doing well, hasn't had a super solid answer, but he said he has been having peace, and so we hope to finalize some things with him and find out what he is looking for as an answer to prayers. Also talked to a couple new less active members this week that we hope to start working with. Lots of potentials, we are looking forward to our ward activity this Saturday, and hope to have quite a few people there. The work is coming. Our ward relationship is coming, I hope to work with the Bishopric a little more and get to know them better.  As well the activity in Tsing Yi was a hit this week! And we had a ton of investigators there, I, as well, helped a brother from the other ward pull a ton of people in off the street to the activity. Elder C is by far one of the best actors I have ever seen.

The Zone is well, still seeing good progressing in both missionaries and investigators. The younger missionaries are coming out of their shells, and the others are growing in themselves. Another baptism this week in Sing Mun and then another the week after in Butterfly and after that is us! Lots of great things happening all around. We are quite excited.

This is the work of the Lord, His hand is in it, as are the hands of his ministering angels that I do believe are firmly around us buoying us up. I am grateful this Thanksgiving for my opportunity to be a missionary and to serve. To be the best I can be, in and through the Lords hands. I am grateful for my loving family that are such great examples to me. I love them!

It is interesting celebrating an American holiday in China.

Quick shout out to my Cutest Sister! (sorry Whit and Brooke!) Kate is the cutest best person I could have ever picked to sleep in the room next to me. She always sang the most beautiful Tangled songs till 2 in the morning just to help me sleep. I love her so much. Kate is my Baby sister now and forever! I love my talented, smart, and fast sister so much! You are the best Kate!  Happy Birthday!

Oh and just got chenged out so Dim Sum again... SO good. ate till I couldn't eat any more.
   Elder Sargent

11/14 We must overcome ourselves

He sang at his baptism!

I love the members!

The field is white and we plan on harvesting it. Been a great week, potentially one of the greatest Sundays on my mission, so much fun. Had to spend some time in Wan Chai and then the hospital for Elder P, and then a couple other random things I had to cover, but all in all, we accomplished the work we have to do here. Found a new investigator S who is awesome! He is actually a former from a while ago, but doesn't remember much. We met him twice this week and he even asked to come to church (in his suit!) and then came with us to the baptism for A in Tsing Yi after. Very solid. As well, Mr. W continues to surprise me as one of the most prepared people I have ever met. So willing to learn, ask's the perfect questions, and has been led right to the restored gospel here on the earth. We taught the Godhead last time, to explain the difference in the Trinity and the Godhead, how similar and how different. I don't think I have ever prepared that much for a lesson. He is such an amazing man, he couldn't come to church because he goes with his family to a different congregation, but said he is wishes to have an answer to his prayers by this week and will bring is 19 year old son, 16 year old daughter and wife next week if he gets his answer. Needless to say, I have been praying quite hard. Other investigators are progressing... slowly. They need some help and we are trying to seek for more investigators. Ward relationships are picking up quite well and I love the ward. We had an FHE at a members house last night that included about 15 people that made me feel like I was at my Grandma's house back home, the most rowdy evening of my mission. So much fun, followed by three messages from three of the young men there that are preparing to go on missions (2 play american football and rugby and the rest of the family is pretty big too... big folks). So fun! Come to find out, I know pretty much all of one of the families relatives in HK and have served in their wards! The work is progressing.

As well, got to see A get baptized!! I was able to help the Tsuen Wan sisters find a member friend to baptize him at the last second which was good, and the whole thing was amazing. He was beaming, and even sang his testimony at the end. I can't wait to see them get sealed. :)

As a companionship we are doing amazing. I love Elder P so much and we have pretty good unity which keeps things flowing. Building each other up. As well his hip/back, I believe we are past it now, during the problem it was pretty off and on, and after the Z-ray.

I am realizing, more and more, how many missionaries don't actually come home cured or having quit bad habits, it's just like holding on or stopping for just long enough to get on a mission. This kind of thing is different for anyone, could be drugs, or for a lot it is pornography or a plethora of things. Just hold off just long enough, thinking it will go away on a mission, but it doesn't. It has caused a lot of pondering as to what I am still holding on to, rationalizing it will be ok, or not fulling giving. We as missionaries are in the perfect situation to really get that change, if we so desire. We can't smoke, drink, or look at pornography as missionaries (because we still on top wish to be obedient) but it doesn't change what's deep down, unless we give it up, all of it. Can't even really hold on to a piece of it, or it will nag us right back. We must overcome ourselves.

The Zone is doing well. Got everything settled in it seems like, and I am starting to get a feel more of where the separate areas are. Lots of work to do, we need to keep finding more NI and I feel like people are starting to go back to the street finding mindset, but hopefully we can continue to seek for more referrals from people. 

I sure do love this work, I am happy and complete. I am boosted every week by doing this work, and then hearing of my stalwart family working so hard back home. I am a blessed man. God lives, and loves us. His hand is in the work, and I and grateful beyond measure to be a piece and a Shepard in this great work.
Thank the Lord for loving me enough to cut me down :)
Love Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart

Monday, November 7, 2016

11/7 Big Change

Last zone conference
goodbye Elder C
my friend C

Last zone conference

saying goodbye to good friends going home - Ever Stalwart my friends!

temple day
lunch with Elder P, my new companion
It's been an interesting week! Well, it was tough to say goodbye to Cheung Sha Wan, but they are in the loving hands of Elder R and his new trainee. Going to miss them. Picked up Elder P on Thursday, as well as had to say goodbye to some of my best friends on the mission! I am going to miss several of the Elders from this group, I was good friends with Elder S and P, now Elder G off too. Shed a few tears that day. Even sent Elder C off. I am pretty excited to go to work with Elder P. Elder P is a solid hardworking missionary from Arizona, also a convert, and has been out for 6 months. As well got a new trainee in the apartment with Elder T! And they will be having a baptism this Sunday for a Part member family (I did his interview Saturday!). It is going to be fun. This week, unfortunately, meeting with the Stake High Councilman and training new District leaders and doing language evaluations took up most of our time, but we were able to get a little done. Sunday was good as well, Kwai Chung is a lot smaller than my last area and there will be a lot to get used to. As far as the work, met with a member referral from C's mom that happened to be from Kwai Fong, and he is awesome. Asks all the right questions, and is definitely a prepared soul. As well we have a couple other part member families we might have the opportunity to start working with. So not much, but are working on getting some ideas ready for activities and other ways to get people to church. We plan on starting a children's English class, and also a music activity every week, and until we start picking these people up, there will be lots of street finding. We were able to schedule quite a few members on Sunday and they seemed to be pretty excited to have Elders, so hopefully we can pick this up and send it!
Sisters Tsuen Wan called and asked if I could baptize an investigator, asked who, and it turned out to be A! My favorite Asian Canadian cowboy that we turned over to them a few months ago! They couldn't get anyone in the ward to do it, and he requested me, so we will be at that baptism this Sunday. I am pretty excited about that!!
As a Zone, it seems like things are coming. Also seems as though the areas here all seem to be at different places in the work, at varying levels. Some doing extremely well, others just opened, and others, not so well. Finding investigators seems to be a problem, but they are still managing to find people to baptize. It is fun to come back to kind of an old area and see how things are and already have some kind of base. We have some work to do to double the baptisms!
As for my companion and I, we will serve the Lord. Haha, but in all reality, it's going to be a good, tough, and hard working transfer. Opening an area, Zone Leader responsibilities and just keeping things running is going to be fun. Looking forward to it.
Love Elder Sargent

Ever Stalwart my friends!!!

Friday, November 4, 2016

10/31 D-day

Brother T who had the miracle with his information drive

The three stooges and their friend and A-F
This last week has been so much fun! Thoroughly enjoyed my last week in Cheung Sha Wan. The Stooges F and S have been making leaps and bounds of progress this week, seeing them a couple times ending this Sunday with our YM dinner. They are awesome and I can't wait to see pictures of them getting baptized. A-F as well is doing very good and now that we have a firm basis on which we can teach the lessons we plan on getting started in on them. He also should be good for the Christmas Miracle stake baptism. I love our Young Men, seeing them grow so much since I have been here under our YM Leader A-Y's constant care. He defines one who exemplifies their calling. I wish to be more like him some day. Seeing C come back to church and should be on a mission by New Years and bringing his girlfriend to the gospel, K baptized, CL strengthened to bringing friends to the gospel who now are planning on baptism and bringing more friends, I can't believe it. I will miss them like my brothers. V couldn't come this week, but we will be seeing him Wednesday, he is also progressing well. It has been so fun to start seeing S W and her kids again. Such good potential. It was fun to see Brother T again, he mentioned he didn't feel the Spirit in mainland, and while I was in the middle of bearing testimony, Elder R very seriously said he had the scripture to answer his question why, and asked him to read Alma 37:11, for those who know that scripture, it is 100x better in Chinese. Needless to say, he was near tears he was laughing so hard. It worked out. Then he also mentioned a huge miracle on Sunday about how he had an information drive that connects to his computer that has all his information on it, that fell into water for a few days. He found it last week when he came back from mainland. He said he literally dumped water out of it, and it didn't work for two weeks, when all the sudden, Saturday, he felt like he should pray and ask God to make it work. He did, and it worked! He was laughing hysterically after sacrament telling us. He just said, "It worked!!! It really worked!!" So funny, he is a man of immense faith. It was such a good week, but it will be hard leaving.

I am going to miss the ward. Cried when I found out I wasn't going to be there next Sunday. I always knew it would have to happen, but never wanted it so soon. I think I have been nearly too blessed. To be in an area looking forward to so many baptisms this Christmas with such amazing investigators and members I love so much. In the most beautiful chapel where I see the temple ever morning. I see angel Moroni peaking up over the trees as I walk to the church nearly every day. Those days will be missed. I will miss the great friends I have made in the Zone, and some of my best friends that have finished their time here. I feel like it is all being ripped out from underneath me; but that's what will make me grow. I am not a fan of change, but if it be the Lords will, it's my will. I am excited to take what I have learned here and implement it into my new area where ever it may be.
It might be fate I have the quote "It is following the lines of least resistance that makes rivers and men crooked," on the front of my planner. This won't be an easy one.
As a companionship, we have been on all 5 cylinders (if that's the saying, I can't remember). Got over a little hump, and have been really working hard together. I sure love Elder Rawlings and have faith knowing he will take care of the flock in this area.
As a Zone, things seem to be going well, I am so excited about doubling baptisms and will take that to my next area.
It won't be easy, but it will be worth it. "We do not say why and how, we say WHY NOT?" That's the attitude I want to take where ever I am going.
A little frustrated I had to move, but more than grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve in such a blessed area. They will always be part of my heart. The Lord can count on me to do the work anywhere He needs me to.
Love Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart